Monday Movie Report: Recapping ‘Star Wars’ celebration

The next film in the “Star Wars” saga is set for release on Dec. 20 and fans in Chicago along with the rest of the world were treated to a first look at the flick last week.

During the Star Wars Celebration event, taking place in the Windy City, a panel was held for “Star Wars: Episode XI,” featuring Director J.J. Abrams, LucasFilms President Kathleen Kennedy and several cast members. At the panels conclusion, the first trailer for the movie and the official title were released to the public.

During the panel, Abrams and company confirmed a few details about the upcoming space opera. For example, Abrams said there’s unused footage of the late Carrie Fisher which will be used to give her character a sendoff.

Abrams also said “the movie does not pick up immediately after the last film. Some time has gone by.”

Cast members on stage at the “Star Wars” celebration.

It was also confirmed by Abrams that the movie is now in the editing process and visual effects are being finalized. As a result, the release date should stay put.

Another moment from the Star Wars panel.

From the look of the trailer, several characters will likely make comebacks, new and old. The character Rose Tico (played by Kelly Marie Tran) who was introduced in part 8 and was critically injured at the end, is expected to return to action.

One character from the previous trilogy making a comeback, meanwhile, is the original Falcon owner Lando Calrissian (played again by Billy Dee Williams). Sith Emperor Palpatine, played by Ian McDiarmid, is also set to return in some form.

Story details are still sparse, but considering the name, this film will likely mark the end of all plot threads related to Skywalker characters.


At the weekend box office this weekend, it was the superhero comedy “Shazam!” once again earning the top spot with a respectable $25 million. As a whole, the box office was very spread out, with features “Little,” “Hellboy” and “Pet Sematary” earning more than $10 million.

The full top five from the weekend was:

1. Shazam! – $25,140,000
2. Little – $15,499,000
3. Hellboy – $12,015,000
4. Pet Sematary – $10,000,000
5. Dumbo – $9,186,000

The box office shouldn’t shake up much more next weekend, with no blockbusters on deck. New releases include the horror movie “The Curse of La Llorona” and the drama “Breakthrough.” Two weeks from now should be different, though, with “Avengers Endgame” around the corner.

On the small screen, meanwhile, new releases this week are:

  • Glass, my rating: 2 out of 5, Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 2.53 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 37%.
  • Replicas, my rating: 1 out of 5, Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 1.75 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 10%.
  • The Kid who would be King, Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 3.15 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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